"Early Americans" is a joy from beginning to end. It's fun, melodic, rhythmical, adventurous, emotionally satisfying, and, at times, quite moving. Jane Ira Bloom continues to search the worlds around her, above and inside her to create music that resonates long after the sounds fade. Few musicians are comfortable taking the chances that she has throughout her career - her contemporaries such as Dave Douglas, her long-time friend Fred Hersch, Vijay Iyer, and Henry Threadgill come to mind. Even fewer have the emotional depth she plumbs through her music. Find this album; listen to it over and over until your soul is satisfied.
Here's a track to whet your appetite:
The Murray, Allen & Carrington Power Trio is no misnomer. This album is quite powerful but not just in how the music is played but also in the emotional power of the songs and the wonderful interactions of the musicians. Let's hope this ensemble can continue to build upon its "Perfection."
For more information, go to motema.com/artists/murray-allen-carrington-power-trio/. And, here's the Trio in action - with its guests - on the title track:
What's obvious from the outset is that this is a true trio effort (even down to Jimmy and Deena Katz's cover image with the drummer in the middle - on the back, the bassist is in the middle). The leader's liner message notes the Hartford, CT. connection with both McPherson and Douglas graduates of the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at the University of Hartford (the bassist is a native city as well). What stands out is the terrific interactions of the trio, the thick bass sounds dancing over the active drumming while the trumpet weaves his way in and out of the spotlight. "A Slight Taste", its rhythmic melody introduced by composer Douglas while McPherson's brushes scamper over the drum kit, is a delightful romp. The slow blues of "Saturday Moanin'" (credited to all three) features a handsome trumpet melody; the deliberate pace of the piece allows the listener to hear each part and the leader's soulful solo perfectly captures the mood.
DE3 and co-producer Jimmy Katz set up the recording equipment in New York City's legendary Maxwell's Drum Shop, creating a sonic atmosphere like NPR's "Tiny Desk Concert." You don't hear the audience but the results are intimate, drawing the listener in, hanging on every sound. Duane Eubanks, who has worked with numerous artists from Elvin Jones to Alicia Keys, is making his mark as a leader and this new album is, arguably, his best.
For more information, go to www.duaneeubanks.com. To listen to several tracks (with an option to purchase the recording), go to sunnysidezone.com/album/live-at-maxwells. Duane Eubanks brings a Quartet to The Side Door Jazz Club in Old Lyme, CT on June 10 - to find out more, go to thesidedoorjazz.com.